I'm looking at the option of getting a S&W 60 357 magnum and wondering if there is a way to determine if buying a used one to determine if it may be "Shot Out" or ways to tell the age of one. Reading other articles about the smaller wheel guns and using the 357 magnum rounds that the lock-up can get loose from using the magnum rounds rather than using the 38 special rounds. If these smaller wheel guns tend to get worn out quicker are they safe or is it time to trade it for a ??? This will be a backpack carry so not sure how much use I will give it or get one and shoot until the wheels fall off.
Any S&W J frame 357 would be of "lifetime warranty" vintage. I also, having owned several, find it difficult to believe that people have shot them enuf with 357s to see any "issues", that's a round count that most hands won't tolerate! These little guns in 357 are a beast so forgive me if I'm skeptical that many have been shot into "worn out"...but if it happened, a trip back to S&W will fix that.
As for judging use, look at the ejector rod, the more scratches, the more use. While looking at the ejector rod, with the cylinder open, give it a spin to see I'd someone has bent the rod slamming the cylinder home with a flick off their wrist. Holding the gun in your right hand, roll the gun onto it's right side, so the sights are pointing to your right, and thumb back the hammer quite slowly. If it's in time you'll hear the cylinder lock up near the end of the hammers travel. If it's out of time, it won't lock up and you'll be able to turn the cylinder slightly to hear a click. Any gun like that needs a trip back to S&W. While it's cocked, try pushing the hammer forward, if it pushes off, a hack has been at the sear surfaces and the gun needs a trip back to S&W.
Those are the most important things to check and can give you an idea of how the guns been taken care of.
Mike, Those are things that I will look for. Even though this will be a pack gun I would rather have one that will be ready when I need to use it or plink with it occasionally, and not have to send it to S&W for repairs. One thing that you mentioned is the cylinder lock at the hammer end travel, Timing is very key and I would like to have positive alingnment for sure.
If it locks at the very end of hammer travel, the hand is getting long in the tooth and we'll require a trip into S&W to be repaired. No one generally cocks the hammer super slowly like I suggest for the test but in da the cylinder does turn slower than you cocking it for an sa shot and can spit if not locked up properly.
J frames are awesome little guns and I highly recommend the 640 over a 60 for defensive use. The only time I see the benefit of an exposed hammer gun is one that'll also serve as a small game getter or see similar usage. If not, the enclosed design of a 640 is much better for pack or pocket.
Absolutely correct. I have a Model 60 in .357 Magnum that has been MagNaPorted and fitted with a set of oversize grips. Very easy to control.
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This 60-15 model will be primarily as a pack pistol and probably in a belt holster in the field. Also it will come in handy for that pesky annoying squirrel that has to constantly yap and yap while you are trying to be quiet in the field and it has blown your cover by telling everything else in the woods just where you are.
Thanks Mike for all of the helpful info and tidbits on these little wheel cannons
No problem Steve, I am a fan of the little guns. J frames are somewhat "minitures", to me, and I cant seem to stop collecting them! I don't have one of the PC Pro Series 3" 60's and your thread has me wanting one again!
If you get it, keep us posted on how it shoots and how you like it.
Well-- The Smith & Wesson 60-15 is part of the collection now and after a thorough cleaning and inspection a box of ammo was in order to test it out. It didn't take me very long to realize what a sweet little package this is. Short of the grip being on the smaller size (even for my smaller hands) the pointability was there and the first rounds of basic Blazer 38 specials met their target at only 10 yards to start. I found a couple half pieces of clay targets left on the ground and propped them up only to hit them with no problem. Finding a piece of scrap board left laying around that was about 25 yards or so out and I had no problems getting on target after 2 rounds that wanted to veer to the left of the intended target.
All in all I would say it handles nicely and the only changes I would like to make on this piece would be to fabricate a wood grip that has a heel and thumb rest much like the Volquartzen style. Not so bulky that it takes away from the footprint of the small 60-15 but enough that it will lay in your hand just the same way every time.
Might even see about trying to punch a 2 liter bottle at 150 or so yards.
So in to the store to pick up some 357 Magnums and send those down range for some quick handling testing. Way-- And Very
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